Teardrop hovering formation for elliptical orbit considering J2 perturbation

Shengzhou Bai, Chao Han, Xiucong Sun, Hongli Zhang, Yiping Jiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


On-orbit service (OOS) technologies, applied to provide essential maintenance to prolong the lifetime of spacecraft and to extend their function, have received widespread attention recently. The hovering formation, as one of the core technologies, enables the relative motion state between an active spacecraft and chief spacecraft within a specified range. In this study, we proposed a teardrop hovering formation, which is suitable for elliptical reference orbit with a J2 perturbation. We formulated a mathematical model of the teardrop hovering formation maintained by the impulse control and presented a rapid method based on the state transition matrix. With the triangles of the three tangent lines solved by the rapid method, we estimated the envelope of the multi-loop hovering formation. Furthermore, we analyzed the influence of the reference orbital elements and formation parameters on the hovering formation by numerical simulations, which demonstrated the efficiency of the proposed method and provided a reference for the preliminary design of hovering formations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106098
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Elliptical reference
  • Hovering formation
  • On-orbit service
  • Preliminary design
  • State transition matrix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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